Can my husband sign custody over to me if we are currently married? 18 Answers as of June 02, 2011

My husband and I have been married for 2 years and we have a 1 year old. The past year our marriage has fallen apart. I recently told him that I wanted to try counseling, but that first I wanted him to sign custody our of child over to me. He agreed to do so. Can this even be done? If so, how would you go about doing so?

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Law Office of Karen A. Clark, L.L.C.
Law Office of Karen A. Clark, L.L.C. | Karen A. Clark
It seems like you are putting the cart before the horse. If you are trying to work things out by attending marriage counseling, that should be your focus. If you decide to separate, then you both need to consider who should have custody of your child, where she should reside, and whether one or both of you together should make major decisions in her life. Most courts would not look favorably on "making" one's attendance in counseling contingent on the other spouse's relinquishing custody. In general, one's parental rights cannot be terminated without cause. However, one can choose relinquish his/her parental rights at any time.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 6/2/2011
The Davies Law Firm, P.A.
The Davies Law Firm, P.A. | Robert F. Davies, Esq.
You do not have him sign over custody, but you have him agree that you are the custodial parent. I can help you with this. Give me a call, make an appointment to come see me, and let's get moving on this for you. No charge for the first office visit. I know people worry about how expensive a lawyer is, so I am careful to be as inexpensive as I can for my clients. Before you spend a dime, you will know how much this is likely to be.
Answer Applies to: New Jersey
Replied: 6/1/2011
Vermeulen Law office P.A.
Vermeulen Law office P.A. | Cynthia J.Vermeulen
Under Minnesota law, you would have to start a Dissolution or Legal Separation action in order to have an enforceable agreement on any issue, including custody of a child. I advise that you consult with an attorney about starting an action immediately.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 6/1/2011
Cody and Gonillo, LLP
Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
You can try a written agreement but it may not be enforceable later on in the divorce.
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 5/31/2011
Beaulier Law Office
Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
No. Any extrajudicial determination of custody is not binding or enforceable.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 5/31/2011
    Berner Law Group, PLLC
    Berner Law Group, PLLC | Jack Berner
    If you reside in Western Washington, feel free to contact my office for a free, no obligation consultation-by phone or in person-about this situation. What you are proposing isn't workable but there are other options.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/31/2011
    Seattle Divorce Services
    Seattle Divorce Services | Michael V. Fancher
    Under Washington law, while you can't get a court order without filing an action for divorce or legal separation, you could do a separation contract. See an attorney in your area for more information.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/27/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    In Washington a court would consider such an agreement but not be controlled by it. Particularly since you are almost blackmailing him to sign it, it probably won't be too significant. More important is what you respectively actually do in regards to parenting functions. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/27/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    I would recommend that you retain an experienced divorce lawyer in your community to discuss your various options, including a separate maintenance action, or a separation agreement.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/27/2011
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
    It can be done in the context of a divorce case. If it is done prior to the filing and service of a divorce case, it would likely be unenforceable, but you might be able to use it during the divorce to demonstrate your husband's lack of interest in his child, when you seek orders for child custody in the divorce case.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/27/2011
    Komanapalli Massey LLP
    Komanapalli Massey LLP | Mark A. Massey, Esq.
    Yes, you may informally enter a written agreement stating that you shall be entitled to sole physical custody, but I suggest joint legal custody (decision making authority is shared).
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/27/2011
    Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler
    Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler | Robert L Fiedler
    An outside of court agreement concerning custody is not enforceable by the court. If you want such an agreement to have enforceablility, you would have to file an action for custody with the court. As to what you are requesting from him as a condition of counseling, I think it is morally wrong to do so. You are asking him to attempt to save the marriage yet you are asking him to do something that is a first type of step in getting a divorce.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 5/27/2011
    Law Office of James Lentz
    Law Office of James Lentz | James Lentz
    In Ohio this could be accomplished through a legal separation. Please check with your family practice lawyer for guidance.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 5/27/2011
    Law Office of Richard B. Kell
    Law Office of Richard B. Kell | Richard B. Kell
    You can obtain sole custody of your child while still married; however, it isn't just a matter of "signing the child over." The process involves filing a complaint and scheduling a hearing. The process does not have to be adversarial. After the complaint has been filed, the two of you can simply enter into an Agreement for Judgment. But you will have to attend the hearing. If you need help with the process, please feel free to contact my office.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 5/27/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    Strictly speaking the answer is no and you don't need him to do anything. Until there is a divorce case to decide parenting responsibilities between the two of you, you already have all the equal legal authority you need. Nothing he could say in writing will change that.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 5/27/2011
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
    I am not sure that it would be enforceable, but it would be evidence, at a minimum, for the court to consider. I think that a court could enforce it; I am just not certain that it would have to enforce it. I think the circumstances must still be analyzed as to what is in the child's best interest, regardless of what the parties have agreed. Stay well.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 5/27/2011
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    Unless there is a case open with a family law court (such as petition for dissolution of marriage, petition for legal separation, or other family law matter), then no, you cannot sign over custody. If you are looking for an attorney and are in my area, please contact me for a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/27/2011
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